Lockdown: Week 10

As this has ‘officially’ been a half term holiday I intend to just to share a brief message this week.

I do genuinely hope that you have taken some time this week to rest up, stay away from emails and make the most of this absolutely fantastic weather. The present national and international circumstances continue to hang heavily on all of our shoulders and many of us are finding the days and weeks more challenging than they otherwise might be. We know that our civic responsibilities mean that we cannot step to one side and disengage from what is happening out there. We are all very much part of the local and national dialogue and debate.

There has been further guidance issued by the government this week, in relation to schools and colleges. We continue to read that guidance carefully and we are considering what our ‘next steps’ might be. We will share further thoughts in the coming days, as to what our approach might be and how our approach might be adjusted.

It’s a very sunny Friday, as I look out of the window. I hope to get out in the garden and out and about this weekend. I do hope that you can enjoy some of this beautiful weather too. As always, thank you for your continued support. We are in this together, we will find a way collectively.

Have a fantastic weekend and we are back at it on Monday morning.

‘And so, ladies and gentlemen, as the loose-bowelled Pigeon of Time swoops low over the unsuspecting Tourist of Destiny, and the flatulent Skunk of Fate wanders into the Air-Conditioning System of Eternity, I notice it’s the end of the show’. Humphrey Lyttelton

As always if that’s all you want to read press delete now, if not further comedy connections.

Last week: I’m sorry I’ll read that again. This week: I’m sorry I haven’t a clue (no comments please!). Out of the sketch show that we listened to last week, born the ultimate in panel games – or as it says in the introduction ‘the antidote to panel games’.

From the same stable as I’ll read that again, ‘clue’ developed as the ultimate expression of British silliness. Clue was launched as a parody of the radio and TV panel games, in 1972 and it has been running ever since. They are now in something like the 72nd series.

The original chair was Humphrey Lyttelton (with the odd sharing or chairing with Barry Cryer), more famous for being a jazz trumpeter and band leader, Humph established himself as the ultimate dis-interested and mildly irritated chair of the show he didn’t want to be part of. Upon Humph’s death, in 2008, there was a short period of time where guests Chairs included Stephen Fry, Rob Brydon and Jack Dee. In 2009, Jack dee was asked to host the show. His dry, grumpy persona is a brilliant counterpoint to the guest’s upbeat enthusiasm for all of the silly things they are asked to do.

Originally the guests rotated. All the ‘I’ll read that’ crew, Tim Brooke-Taylor, Graham Garden, Bill Oddie, John Cleese and Jo Kendall appeared (and David Hatch produced). Before a settled foursome of Tim, Graham, Barry and Willie Rushton emerged – it just suits some comedians and not others!  And there’s the connection, especially the late Tim Brooke-Taylor and Graham Garden. In fact, it was Graham Garden who invented the concept. After William Rushton’s death in 1996 the fourth panellist became a guest spot. British comedy greats such as Jeremy Hardy, Victoria Ward, Rob Brydon, Stephen Fry, Ross Noble etc have occupied the fourth seat over the years.

The intelligence, the use of language, the quick-witted comebacks and Colin Sell – what more could you want?

I know some of the earlier recordings they now seem a little quaint and antiquated, but it is still regularly the funniest thing on the radio.

Please try all the BBC archives and listen to as many of these episodes as you can. Here is a 2012 episode recently repeated to recognise the death of Tim Brooke-Taylor.